Spotlight on Downtown Long Beach Lions Club

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EverythingLongBeach.com recently spoke with Kirk Davis, Past President of Downtown Long Beach Lions Club, via email. They talked about the inspirations and challenges of running a nonprofit organization in Long Beach.

How long has Downtown Long Beach Lions Club been around? Did it start in Long Beach?

Lions Clubs International established in Chicago in 1917. The Downtown Long Beach Lions Club chartered in Long Beach in 1921

Describe Downtown Long Beach Lions Club. Tell us a little about your nonprofit, your mission, the people you serve or your goals.

In 1925 Helen Keller spoke at the Lions International Convention. She urged the Lions to become,”Knights of the Blind in this crusade against blindness”. The Downtown Long Beach Lions follow this admonition and works to aid the blind and visually impaired. The Club also strives to be a leader in com 100% of all monies donated go towards the charitable mission of the Club. No charity monies are used for administrative or operating expenses. The Club’s Motto is “We Serve”.

How is Downtown Long Beach Lions Club different from similar nonprofits?

The Downtown Long Beach Lions Club uses 100% of donation toward community projects and humanitarian service.

How is Downtown Long Beach Lions Club involved with the community?

The Club has partnered with the LBUSD, the LB Health Dept, the Children’s Clinic, Ronald McDonald House, the Salvation Army, For the Child and numerous other Long Beach organizations and civic leaders in making Long Beach a healthier and better place to live.

What are some of the biggest successes Downtown Long Beach Lions Club has had?

Along with the help we provide to the visually impaired in Long Beach: The club partially funded the lighthouse located in shoreline village known as the Lions Lighthouse for Sight. The Hamilton Middle School Landscape Project. Where the Club transformed the front of the school to make it a park like setting for the students and neighbors. The MLK Jr Park Peace Garden Project. The Club made the garden more sustainable and user friendly by installing drip irrigation, refurbishing the green house and constructing a trellis over the learning area. LBUSD and LBCC scholarship and student recognition program. Sponsoring a Lions student speaker contest.

What is the most rewarding part of running Downtown Long Beach Lions Club?

Knowing the Club has the resources to work on making positive changes to the health and well-being of the Long Beach community. Being able to see the impact the Club has on the people we serve.

What are the challenges you face — as a nonprofit, as an advocacy group, or in your industry?

Getting younger members and getting more participation from the membership.

What are the future plans for Downtown Long Beach Lions Club?

To continue to seek out projects and sponsor and participate in events that truly help the residents of Long Beach. To continue to find ways to enhance the mission of the Club.

Do you have any special events or fundraisers you’d like to tell us about?

The Sight First Health Fair on Saturday May 2, 2015 from 8:00am to 4:00pm, at the Dr Martin Luther King Jr Park Community Center, 1950 Lemon Ave, Long Beach, CA 90806.

The Sight First Health Fair will provide FREE eye exams and glasses to the first 400 people.

The Fair, in conjunction with the Long Beach Health Department, will offer FREE hearing, glucose, cholesterol, dental, HIV, hepatitis C, blood pressure, and body mass index screenings. The fair will have educational tables on many health issues along with safety and injury prevention, bone marrow registration, family reading pods and gardening presentations. In addition, the fair will have activities for the entire family and music by DJ Hawkeye.

How can people get involved with Downtown Long Beach Lions Club? What do you need — volunteers, donations, etc?

Volunteers and donations are great and we do use non-lion volunteers at our events. We meet almost every Friday at noon at the Petroleum Club and have a program with a guest speaker. Prospective members are always welcome.

Downtown Long Beach Lions Club Details:

Address: 5150 Pacific Coast Highway Suit 605 Long Beach Ca 90804

Phone Number: 562-370-1205

Website: longbeachlions.org

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